The Newest Safety Feature For Cars Might Soon Be Antivirus

In yet another car-hacking, GM’s OnStar proves to be vulnerable.

A security researcher by the name of Samy Kamkar built himself a little device and cleverly named it OwnStar. That’s because he can take control of a GM vehicle’s RemoteLink and make the car do things the driver doesn’t intend.

The hack is being kept mainly secret other than the Raspberry Pi computer and wireless adapters used, and Kamkar plans to release more information at the world’s worst idea, Defcon. That’s a hacker’s convention in Las Vegas.

While RemoteLink doesn’t specifically control all the vehicle functions, it does allow the user to unlock the doors, pop the trunk, turn on lights, identify the vehicle’s exact location, and even start the engine. That may sound worse than it is, though. RemoteLink shuts down the engine after 10 minutes.

Still, it’s unnerving to know that a hacker can unlock the doors and know where your vehicle is whenever they want. Personal security is definitely compromised. Imagine the implications that can have on fleets like the Secret Service!

GM immediately issued a fix, albeit incomplete. The only real solution at the moment– don’t use your RemoteLink.

Automakers across the board have been in a race to integrate their vehicles into the fully-connected market with WiFi and other connectivity features. Maybe security should have been thought through more before releasing features that can be compromised.

McAfee and Norton Antivirus may be the next developers to partner with automakers at this rate.


Categories: Gear Grinding

Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.